Burst Chamber: Classes Teach Safe Installation of Swagelok Fittings
by Taryn Hardes, on Wed, Dec 19, 2012 @ 08:12 AM
Classes ensure customers get the job done right
These classes aren't all about taking notes. Each participant must build an assembly, and each assembly is tested under pressure in a burst chamber. Through the chamber's bulletproof glass, everyone can see what happens when the system is pressurized far beyond the rating of the tubing. If assembled right, the tube bursts before the fitting blows out. Learn more »
As good as Swagelok's tubing and fittings are, they need to be installed properly to stay leak tight. That's why Edmonton Valve & Fitting offers training seminars. We want our customers to get the most out of the products we sell.
ISO-certified classes improve workplace safety, lower maintenance costs
At least once a month, we hold Swagelok Total Support Training Seminars (STS) to increase our customers' expertise in selecting, handling, and installing tube fittings, plus the proper bending and fabrication of tubing. When the job is done right the first time, it increases safety in your workplace and lowers your costs. Your systems will be more reliable, resulting in fewer accidents and less downtime. That's a good return on the investment of training for your associates.
These are full-day, ISO certified classes, led by an industry expert from Edmonton Valve & Fitting. Those who pass earn a certificate of competency, with a unique code that a trained fitter can use as a personal code to identify his or her own installations.
Installers and supervisors welcome
Typical participants include people who are normally involved in the installation of our products, but also people in other roles who want to have a better understanding the products and the processes. Classes often include apprentices trying to get their ticket for instrumentation, but they also include purchasers and people in supervisory roles. Usually the classes have 10 or fewer people, so there is plenty of time for personal attention. If a customer needs to send more than 10, we often go to their site or hold the training at a hotel conference room.
See the hazards of installation errors - and learn to do it right
A big part of the morning session is showing the variables that can cause fittings to fail. The two primary reasons are under-tightening and not properly placing the tubing into the shoulder of the fitting - known as “bottoming out” your tubing. After a lunch break, the afternoon session is basically about tubing and the proper use of Swagelok tube benders. The class also covers reassembly. If done correctly, Swagelok connections are designed be taken apart and put together up to 25 times.
At the end of the course comes a written exam to test your knowledge.
Tube vs Fitting Blow Out
The classes aren't all about taking notes. After the morning session, each participant must put their learning to the test and build an assembly. Then, each assembly is tested under pressure in a burst chamber. It becomes a bit of a competition to see whose assembly can withstand the highest pressure. Through the chamber's bulletproof glass, everyone can see what happens when the system is pressurized far beyond the rating of the tubing. If assembled right, the tubing will burst before any of the fittings will blow out.
"We'll get some groups where one or two people fail, but we have a high success rate, over 90 percent," says Jim Begg, one of our elite trainers.
Begg has a memorable way of showing the importance of good training.
Most assemblies built before training are substandard
"In the morning, the first thing we normally do is give them a set of tools, a piece of tubing and a Swagelok fitting," he says. The participants are told to put the parts together as they normally would. Then the assemblies are stowed in a box until late in the afternoon. At that point, when everyone should have a thorough understanding of how to assemble the right way, the morning's efforts are brought back out. It's not unusual for most of them to be substandard, usually because the fittings were not tightened enough.
There are common misconceptions about the amount of tightening required to properly “pull up” a Swagelok tube fitting, and this course is extremely successful in training associates to do it right, every time. To make sure your people are at the top of their game, arrange for them to be part of a Swagelok Total Support Training Seminar in 2013. Click here to learn more.